Thursday, January 31, 2008

Oh oh, More snow

Well, it looks like lots of people are going to be shoveling some powdered sunshine soon (or already are).

Lookout, here it comes (again). After the warm front and thaw a couple of days ago, followed by the high winds and flash freeze here yesterday, now they say a foot of snow is on it's way. I've had enough of winter this winter, I'm ready for those Hot Hazy Humid days everyone loves to complain about in the summer.

I don't complain about them though, I love the 3 H days, even when they talk about smog and warn people with breathing problems. Aren't the people with breathing problems affected by frigid arctic outflow, I sure am, it takes my breath away and brings on angina symptoms walking into the cold.

Just a couple more months . . .

Monday, January 28, 2008

Cars in the Ditch

Well, I couldn't believe how many cars I saw in the ditch the other day after the little bit of snow we had.

It goes to show that some people just don't get it in the snow. I was on the road a bit that night, one thing I will never get used to or understand is someone coming up on my bumper on an entry or exit ramp in the snow or on an icy road.

I am embarrassed to say that I was glad to see this guy behind me hit a patch of black ice on the ramp and spin off into the grass. He was coming up real fast behind me as if to try to speed me up by intimidation. He definitely deserves whatever he has to pay the tow truck to get him back on the road. He really should lose his license but that's another story.

There is some warmer weather coming, but watch for freezing rain before the melt.

Drive Safe

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Monday, January 21, 2008

More Snow

Lookout for that snow out there, Winter's not over yet.

Whoa has it b-b-b-been c-c-cold-d-d lately. Now here comes the snow to top everything off.

Everybody remembers how to drive in the snow right? Kinda like driving in the rain . . . when it's frozen, or maybe like driving on ball bearings. Lock up your brakes in this stuff at fifty miles an hour and try not to do a dozen or so "360s" in the snow.

Just remember the best possible rule for the conditions, SLOW DOWN, and keep plenty of distance between vehicles. I don't know many people that like hanging out in the ditch, especially at this temperature.

Drive safe learning to at

Traffic not too bad lately

It's been a week or so since I've seen any real idiots on the road, till last night.

In three lanes of traffic, moving well about ten miles over the limit, some guy in the middle lane pulls into the hammer lane in front of me then sits beside another car in the middle lane both locked right on the speed limit. WHAT AN IDIOT!

Now the two left lanes slow down and the slow lane has turned into the passing lane and I'm stuck behind this guy for miles before his congestive traffic maneuver clears up a little. Then, he speeds up a little jumps across to the slow lane on the other side of the guy in the middle lane then sits there and screws that up.

I get out ahead of the pack and see in my mirror that not many others did.

The moral of this little rant. Don't be an Idiot! learning to at

Drive Safe

Monday, January 14, 2008

Some people shouldn't be allowed on the highway

I was out on the highway tonight for an hour or so, it was pretty yucky out with a little light snow but everyone was behaving nicely for the conditions and the volume of traffic, everyone was traveling around the speed limit and it was nice smooth sailing.

Everyone that is, except for one fool driving a cube van about 40 MPH in the slow lane of a three lane highway. With the slight reduction in visibility from the snow, the highway turns instantly to a sea of brake lights and turn signals with a half dozen 18 wheelers trying to get around this guy.

I don't know if he had mechanical problems or if he had a heavy or unstable load but there are several alternate parallel roads he could take if either were the case, the weather conditions surely didn't warrant his slow speed.

What a screw up this guy was, I know the driving conditions weren't perfect but his reduced speed in the volume of traffic that was driving 60MPH puts so many people at risk due to the number of evasive actions upcoming traffic is forced into making.

Once again another reason some people should not be allowed to drive anything on the highway.

More on safety at

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Road Rage, What Causes It?

I drove into Toronto and last night around midnight and traffic was about how I expected except for about a ten mile stretch through Oakville and Mississauga.

There were three cars driving close to the speed limit in three lanes of the highway basically parked next to each other in a way that nobody could safely pass. After a few miles, there were probably twenty cars and two big trucks all bunching up closer and closer to each other but not able to break through.

It was almost like an experiment to study road rage. In the next couple of miles, before the "gauntlet" was penetrated. There were a couple of cars really impatiently jumping lanes trying to weave their way through the blockage.

Where the "road rage mentality" kicks in is when there is a huge gap of at least a half mile stretch in front of this pack of cars but still no one can get past to exploit it.

Finally, a break. It's like the start of the Indy. All of the aggressive drivers jockeying for position to get through the small gap that opened in the slow lane.

No road rage "incident" developed that I saw, although under the streetlights I could see the shadow of some hand gestures to the middle car as one of the racers flew by.

There were so many examples of following too close along this stretch that if anything did happen at the front of the pack, I bet twenty cars would have introduced themselves to each other in mere seconds.

TWO or THREE seconds between each car. That's all you need to multiply your safety zone exponentially and maybe you'll be reporting a pile up instead of being in it.

More space between cars also makes it much easier and safer for traffic to blend letting faster drivers filter through the slower ones more safely.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tailgating, Don't take away MY safety space!

I don't know about you, but this is an issue that really pisses me off.

Most other unsafe road actions are not as intentional as tailgating. An unsafe pass, unsafe lane change, forgotten signal or even running a red light or stop sign may be a momentary lapse of judgment, but getting close and personal with a vehicle in front of you at 70 miles per hour shows either ones aggression or shear ignorance of physics. It's no wonder how road rage begins sometimes.

Some may recommend a two second break between vehicles on a highway but I prefer a three second gap between my vehicle and the vehicle in front of me. That way I have just a little more time to "PLAN" my actions in case of an emergency and emergencies do happen in a split second. I'll never cease to be amazed when I see a string of cars less than a second apart driving at 75 mph.

I fully believe in the basic rule "slower traffic keep right" or "keep right except to pass" while driving on highways and believe that if everyone followed that rule, it would be like unclogging a heart patient's arteries and traffic would flow.

If slower traffic did keep right a lot of the tailgating would probably go away although there may still be some that just don't know any better or just don't care.

More on road safety at
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Better driving weather

Well the winter blast of snow and ice we got before Xmas has melted away with the recent warm weather we've had. Now you can see all the ugly stuff that was hiding in the snow piles. There is a good size chunk of concrete that the snowplow left at the bottom of my driveway, looking down the road from my house I don't see anything missing so I have no idea where he got it. I just hope the city picks it up.

When the snow first arrives each year, it seems like all the fools want to go play in the snow. There are so many accidents and cars in the ditches, you wonder how it can happen when traffic is just creeping along. Does everyone forget how to drive in the snow?

SLOW DOWN, KEEP YOUR DISTANCE! and maybe you'll stay out of the ditch. It's too bad the authorities can't come up with a way to test drivers in winter conditions before issuing their license, it would be a lot safer out there.

Now that the snow and ice are gone, speeds have gone back to normal on the roads and highways. Unfortunately with the increased speeds come increased damage and injuries if there is an accident. With higher speeds, you need to increase your following distance to allow room for safety.

Remember that anything can happen anywhere and anytime so be aware of what is behind you and what is beside you as well as traffic ahead of you. Keep a mental picture of where vehicles are in your blind spots, they may be there for a while and if you forget that they are there and change lanes, you may just end up as another statistic.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Road Safety at

This blog is the beginning of some of my thoughts and maybe some rants about driving and road safety in general.

I've been lucky, I have never been in a reportable accident. In fact the most damage that I have done to a vehicle myself was with an ice scraper when I broke an expensive piece of trim while trying to free the wiper blades after an ice storm.

It's not because I don't drive much or only drive where there is no traffic, I've accumulated well over a million miles, mostly driving a straight truck in metropolitan areas like Toronto, Buffalo, Hamilton or Detroit as well as the desolate areas in between.

I believe the main reason I've been so lucky is that I LIKE TO BE SAFE. I don't knowingly take chances if there is any possibility of getting hurt or damaging property.

I didn't always think that way though. I lived in The Bahamas when I started driving. In Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, there aren't freeway or highway systems like the "Interstates" or "Kings Highways" There was Sunrise Highway which was more like a driveway for the amount of traffic that was there, and that was about it.

When I was young in the Bahamas, I took risks, I did do things that were unsafe and dangerous until witnessing a really horrific accident where a pedestrian was hit by a speeding car and his mangled lifeless body came sliding to "our" feet. Forty years after that accident, I can still see it in slow motion like it was last week. That same year my grandmother was killed in a car accident and within a few years a couple of my friends were killed in separate auto accidents.

I have known several people that have survived serious accidents only to go out and survive more serious accidents, unfortunately alcohol sometimes plays a roll. Why are some people so unlucky?

I think it boils down to a combination of ones perception of safety and/or tolerance of risk. In other words, they may think they are safer than they really are or are more willing to take a risk than others.

Personally, I play it safe for the most part, in fact one might say too safe. I like to have a three second break between my car and the car in front of me driving 75 miles an hour on a busy highway. This way, when a tailgater is one quarter of a second from my rear bumper, I have enough time to warn the asshole on my bumper and still slow down without "spilling my coffee".

All in all, everyone is responsible for their own safety on the road to a large extent, though freak things do happen and even the safest drivers can be at risk of mechanical failure, mistakes of other drivers or even road or weather conditions.

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